Chris Graham: Mock Mother Nature – at others’ peril

I admit it – I’m a Weather Channel junkie. Watch it every morning first thing and every night before I go to bed. I watch during blizzards, thunderstorm outbreaks, sustained periods of good weather, whatever.

One thing I don’t like that they’ve been doing of late is this Great Tornado Hunt, as they’ve been calling it.

I mean, I get what they’re trying to do – gather information on the front lines of tornadoes that can be used to make tornado forecasting more precise.

At least that’s what they say they’re doing. Calling that kind of educational effort the Great Tornado Hunt makes it seem, though, like they’re pretending that they’re playing a game.

As star Weather Channel anchor Mike Bettes found out last night in Joplin, Mo., the scene of a historically devaastating tornado with a death toll at 89 and counting as of this writing, this Tornado Hunt business is all too real.

Bettes broke down on the air Sunday night reporting from the scene. He and his crew were among the first on the scene and witnessed firsthand people being pulled from rubble and the frantic cries of family members searching desperately for loved ones.

Which is exactly what researchers are trying to prevent from having to happen in the future with improvements in tornado forecasting.

Just don’t need to make light of that important task by equating it to a video game.

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